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Theater dedicates show to memory of 19-year-old performer

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HARTFORD (WITI) -- After the death their 19-year-old fellow cast member, the cast of Fiddler on the Roof dedicated their Friday, July 19th show to Jessie Blodgett.

Out of remembrance for Blodgett, a candle was placed on the spot where, less than a week ago, she played her violin solo.

"I'll be staring at that candle on the roof wishing she was here the whole time," said Kelly Krill, Blodgett's friend since the 6th grade.

Blodgett was found dead Monday, July 15th in a home on Wayside Dr.  Hartford police still aren't releasing what caused her death.

Blodgett was part of the production with the Hartford Players. A matinee at the Schauer Arts Center in Hartford on Sunday, July 14th was her last performance.

The director of the 'Fiddler' production, Jerry Becker, originally considered canceling the rest of the performances - but at the request of Jessie's family - is dedicating the remaining performances to her memory.

"We loved her certainly as a member of our theatrical family but she was a member of their real family so their thoughts had to be first," Becker said.

In the lobby of the theater, the cast took donations for two organizations - the Central Middle School Orchestra and a charity that combats male on female violence.

"She really thought a lot about things and she cared deeply and she thought deeply and she felt deeply and it's really hard to use the past tense," Hummel said. "She had a really healthy curiosity for everything - she always questioned things."

Hartford Police say the incident remains under investigation. An autopsy was conducted on Tuesday afternoon, July 16th. According to Washington County Medical Examiner Bob Posont, “Full autopsy results are pending the receipt of test results. The final report is pending at this time. At this point, the cause and manner of death have not been determined.”

A memorial service for Blodgett will be held Saturday, July 20th.

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